Thursday, December 02, 2010

Nina Munteanu Teaches SF Writing Course at Surrey Writing School

Surrey Writer’s School presents "Alien Tracks to Magician Spells: Learn How to Write and Successfully Publish SF and Fantasy", a three-hour workshop starting at 10:15 am on December 11 (Saturday) at the Semiahmoo Library, 1815 - 152nd Street.

Learn some essential tools of this genre such as world-building, research, plot approaches and how to generate and follow through with premise, idea and theme toward a publishable original work. Workshop will include use of examples, lists, discussion and writing. Bring a sample of your work and be prepared to discuss it.

Register for the course through Surrey Writer's School.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Edward Willett's new YA fantasy featured in Regina Leader Post

Edward Willett's new YA fantasy Song of the Sword, Book 1 of the Shards of Excalibur series from Lobster Press, was featured in in the Regina Leader Post on Saturday with a version of the photo at left (original here), which shows the exact spot on the shore of Regina's Wascana Lake, with Willow Island in the background, where the Lady of the Lake makes her appearance to the young heroine.

The story, by Tim Switzer, begins:

Looking out over Wascana Lake on foggy mornings in Regina, Edward Willett loved the thought that anything could be hidden in the mist.

So when he came up with the idea of a young-adult urban fantasy novel that would involve the Lady of the Lake and other Arthurian characters, Regina seemed like the logical setting.

“I’ve always tried to sneak a little Saskatchewan into my books when I could,” said Willett, whose first novel, Soulworm, was set in Weyburn. “That’s always been in the back of my mind. You see a lot of fantasy stories set in exotic locations, but to somebody in Italy, Regina is exotic. So why not set it here?”

Read the whole thing here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nina Munteanu's Angel of Chaos launch at Hal-Con

Nina Munteanu’s latest book Angel of Chaos (Dragon Moon Press) is being launched at Hal-Con (SF Convention in Halifax) October 29-31, 2010 at the Lord Nelson Hotel, where Nina will be doing a reading, signing books and giving a workshop on writing. Hope to see you there!

Angel of Chaos is the prequel to Nina’s award-nominated ecological thriller Darwin’s Paradox.

In 2095 Darwin’s Evolution Kills… Darwin’s Disease is tearing apart the ordered peace of North America. Julie Crane is a brilliant data handler with a unique talent for finding the impossible fast, and getting into trouble even faster. Her relentless search for a cure leads her to a horrifying discovery that incriminates her in a heinous conspiracy to recast humankind.

Nina Munteanu’s Angel of Chaos is a gripping blend of big scientific ideas, cutthroat politics and complex yet sympathetic characters that will engage readers from its thrilling opening to its surprising and satisfying conclusion.”—Hayden Trenholm, Aurora-winning author of The Steele Chronicles

See you at Hal-Con! Celebrity guests include Walter Koenig (Chekov of the original Star Trek), Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar in Star Trek the Next Generation), and Aaron Douglas (Chief Tyrol in Battlestar Galactica).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SF Canada at VCON 2010

SF Canada will be hosting a Dealer table at Vancouver's Convention of Science Fiction and Fantasy this year, and a party for members at an undisclosed location. Books by members will be on display and/or for sale from October 1-3 at Vancouver Airport Marriott. Complete convention information is available from VCON.
Visit our new website at!

SF Canada Sponsors Speculative and Fantastic Literature

SF Canada has recently supported the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium and the Sunburst Award with token financial sponsorship. The Toronto SpecFic Colloquium will be held Saturday October 23 at 7 Hart House Circle in Toronto from 10:00 AM to midnight, featuring lectures and readings from major authors in the field. The Sunburst Award is Canada's premier juried award for excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Visit our new website at!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Call for Submissions

Five Rivers Chapmanry is an independent micro-publisher of fiction and non-fiction, giving voice to new and established Canadian authors. Five Rivers is committed to bringing publishing back to uncompromising personal editors where it belongs, rather than focus-group marketing. We publish real books by real authors for real readers.
We employ print-on-demand technologies as part of responsible management of environmental and financial resources: by printing only the books required, rather than warehousing thousands, we save trees, energy and capital expenditures, while reducing pollution. We also produce eBooks as part of that mandate.

Five Rivers is committed to producing quality books that have benefited from the scrutiny of a good editor, with attention to layout and cover design. We work closely with our authors throughout the process. And we are very aggressive in our marketing, ensuring both our authors and our titles receive the best possible exposure in the global marketplace.

We are currently looking for submissions in the following categories:

All work must be solidly researched using primary references as a foundation.

Canadian history: this covers a broad spectrum, from stories of national significance to regional, from community to individual. For example,
  • biographies of notable Canadians
  • the quirky and esoteric field of experimental archaeology: e.g., recreating a 17th century Quebecois bake oven.
Canadian Issues:

  • First Nation, Métis or Inuit issues
  • immigrant issues
  • other current issues of likely interest to Canadians
Self-Help Books:

  • we have published books on writing, editing, creativity, gardening,

We seek books that are solidly plotted and character driven, with an emphasis on Canadian culture and settings, in the following categories:

  • Mainstream
  • Fantasy: We tend to favour cultural and historical fantasies that reflect Canadian mores, although borrowing from other cultures is part of our multicultural nature. Examples would include Shadow Song and From Mountains of Ice.
  • Science fiction: We’re looking for original concepts from a Canadian perspective.
  • Speculative: We are absolutely keen about authors who push the borders of fiction and concepts, though again we are looking for a Canadian perspective, insight or flavour.
  • Historical: We are very keen to encourage writers to delve into the rich historical foundation we have and create solidly plotted, character-driven stories illuminating our diverse history. Shadow Song would be an example of the sort of well-researched historical novel for which we are looking.
  • Young Adult: Any stories in the above categories with a target audience in the nine to 18 range.
We will not consider vampires or horror, crime, women's fiction or erotica; and unfortunately do not publish poetry or essay collections; nor can we publish picture books for either children or adults.
Email your query letter along with a synopsis and first 30 pages of the manuscript in DOC format to Be sure to include your full (real) name, mailing address, and email address in your query letter.
Every effort is made to respond within two to six weeks, although it may occasionally take longer.
No hard copy submissions can be accommodated: hard copy submissions will be returned unopened. There are no reading fees required.

Payment Rate

Since there is no set printrun in print-on-demand publishing, we cannot offer authors an initial advance against anticipated royalties; we do, however, provide quarterly statements and payments. Author royalties are paid within 30 days of the close of the calendar quarter, based on the industry standard rate of 10% of retail price.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quill & Quire gives Edward Willett's new YA fantasy Song of the Sword a rave review

The September issue of Quill & Quire, Canada’s magazine of book news and reviews, contains a rave review for Edward Willett's upcoming young adult fantasy Song of the Sword (Lobster Press), first book in a five-book series collectively entitled The Shards of Excalibur. Robert J. Wiersema writes:

Authors who incorporate, interpret, or subvert Arthurian legends in works of contemporary fantasy take a huge risk: the failure rate of such books is staggeringly high. Every so often, though, a writer is skilled enough to utilize the stories of King Arthur and Camelot to significant effect. Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry trilogy is definitely on the list. So, too, is Song of the Sword, the impressive new YA novel from Regina writer Edward Willett.

His penultimate paragraph:

It’s an audacious conceit and a daring subversion of the Arthurian mythos, and Willett backs it up with a taut, compelling narrative, well-drawn characters, and a keen sense of genuine peril and true wonder. It’s a powerful, fun, engaging read, and it’s the first of a series, so readers have much to look forward to.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Five Star Ratings for Lorina Stephens

Midwest Book Review has given five star ratings to Lorina Stephens' And the Angels Sang, and From Mountains of Ice.
And the Angels Sang is an anthology of short, speculative fiction stories author Lorina Stephens has penned over the course of twenty-five years. Some were previously published in periodicals or writers' workshops; all offer snapshots of the human condition. From the titular story of how a pious man perceives angels even as he suffers unspeakable torture and execution, to the devious negotiations of a "dragonslayer" who has more expertise at selling life insurance than wielding a sword, And the Angels Sang is a cornucopia of fractal glimpses into the mysterious, the fantastic, and surprises that lurk beneath the surface. Also highly recommended is Lorina Stephens' historical novel Shadow Song.
The life of a bowyer won't seem so bad. From Mountains of Ice tells the story of fallen noble Sylvio, as he returns to the courts of Simare and finds that he's being dragged into a world of murder and insanity. Set in an Italian renaissance inspired world, From Mountains of Ice is an entertaining and original fantasy from Lorina Stephens, highly recommended.
Lorina Stephens will be reading from, and signing copies of From Mountains of Ice, as well as And the Angels Sang and Shadow Song, this coming Saturday, August 28, 2010, at Chapters Bayview Village, 2901 Bayview Ave., Unit 132, North York, ON, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Lorina's books are available in both digital and print format from booksellers globally, and through the Espresso Book Machine.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Writing Coach Gives Free Webinar

Nina, the Writing Coach
Author and writing coach Nina Munteanu joins editor-journalist Vernon Oikle for "Toolkit Talks", a FREE Webinar hosted by Writer's Digest University to discuss the common issues faced by writers wishing to publish. Nina shares some of her best tips on how to get published in this entertaining and very educational one-hour long conversation with award-winning newspaper editor and journalist Vernon Oikle.

Nina and Vernon cover over twenty questions posed by Writer's Digest editors on important writing topics that range from inspiration, keeping the muse, focus issues and getting started to tools of craft, marketing and promotion.

You can still register to view this free webinar and learn some of the secrets writers use to jumpstart and keep their career in upward motion. Register for Nina's free webinar by August 15, 2010 and you may be eligible for additional materials.

Click here to register and view "Toolkit Talks" on Writer's Digest University.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Bloodlight Chronicles

Steve Stanton's debut novel has now gone to the printer and will be in bookstores soon, with back-cover blurbs by Elisabeth Vonarburg and Matthew Hughes. This postcyberpunk "techno-thriller" is published by ECW Press in Toronto, the first book in a contracted sci-fi trilogy. Steve Stanton's short fiction has been published in twelve countries and nine languages, and he currently serves as the vice-president of SF Canada.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Edward Willett offering electronic galley of Song of the Sword to reviewers

Edward Willett now has an electronic version (a non-printable PDF) of his upcoming YA fantasy Song of the Sword (book one in the five-book series The Shards of Excalibur, published by Lobster Press) available for bona fide reviewers (for online sites or print publication) interested in reading and reviewing the book leading up to its October launch.

If you review books, and you'd like to review Song of the Sword, contact Ed at ewillett(at)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Cover art for Edward Willett's upcoming YA fantasy

Here's the cover art for Edward Willett's upcoming fantasy Song of the Sword, first book in the five-book series The Shards of Excalibur. The book is due out in mid-October from Lobster Press. Here's the description:
Before the Lady called her, Ariane's life was a mess. Two years ago, her mother disappeared. She bounced around different foster homes until her aunt finally took her in. The meanest clique at her new high school has decided to make Ariane their prime target. And to top it all off, she is having frightening premonitions, and they are becoming more intense. The moment water touches her skin, she sees visions of a lake, a lady, and a sword. When a staircase opens up in the middle of Wascana Lake and the water begins singing to her, she has no choice but to answer the call.Ariane learns that she descends from the Lady of the Lake, and soon the stories she thought were legend become a real life nightmare. She and her unexpected companion, Wally Knight, are charged with finding the scattered shards of Excalibur before Merlin can get his hands on them. The infamous magician, known in this world as software tycoon Rex Major, is trying to recover the pieces of Arthur's sword so he can reforge it and restore his limitless power. Suddenly, Ariane's life seems to have a purpose and a clear direction – but how can a troubled teen and her brainy sidekick outwit the ancient, ruthless sorcerer?

Jeanne Robinson (1948-2010)

SF Canada member Jeanne Robinson passed away peacefully at home on May 30 surrounded by family and spiritual advisors. She was a professional dancer and choreographer, a lay-ordained Soto Zen Buddhist, and co-authored the science-fiction trilogy, Stardance, Starseed and Starmind with her husband Spider Robinson. The original novella, “Stardance,” won the Nebula and Hugo Awards in 1978.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lorina Stephens at Indigo, Kingston

This coming Saturday, May 15, Lorina Stephens will appear at Indigo Books and Music, 259 Princess St., Kingston, ON, between 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. She will be signing copies of her latest novel, From Mountains of Ice, a cultural fantasy set in the Italian Renaissance world of Simare.

The novel, Lorina's fifth publication, tells the story of an unlikely hero, Sylvio di Danuto, a back-country bowyer fallen from grace, exiled, dispossessed, the former minister of security for his prince and student, Carmelo. Now Sylvio finds himself summoned back to court for the Festival de Nerezza, the annual autumn remembrance of the dead. The summons carries with it portends of danger, issued by a prince Sylvio suspects is a patricide and insane, a bone-speaker like himself and therefore a rare and potentially powerful force.

From Mountains of Ice is available in both print and digital format from booksellers globally, as well as signed directly from Five Rivers.

View Larger Map

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Cover Design for Steve Stanton's Debut Novel

ECW Press in Toronto has released the cover art for Reconciliation, Book One of The Bloodlight Chronicles, publication date September 2010.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lorina Stephens at Chapters, London, Ontario

Saturday, April 24, Lorina Stephens, author of the Italian Renaissance fantasy, From Mountains of Ice, will appear at Chapters, Richmond Centre, 86 Fanshawe, London, Ontario, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

She will be signing copies of not only From Mountains of Ice, but And the Angels Sang, and Shadow Song.

For more information about Lorina's tour schedule, visit Five River's calendar.

You can also become a fan of Lorina Stephens through Facebook.
Map is courtesy of Google Maps, street view.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My first Children's Picture Book, The Ravens of Farne

Like Steve in the previous post, I have publication news that is not quite SF. My first picture book, The Ravens of Farne, is being released this month. It can be pre-ordered from or

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Current reviews and update...

Not exactly SF, but I am very proud and pleased to announce that there was a splendid review of my children's picture book MARITIME MONSTERS - a field guide to the sea serpents, lake lizards and wood legends of the Maritime provinces - in the latest issue of CM.

Click HERE to check out the review.

And there was a blog-based review at Wag The Fox.

And lastly, Nimbus Publishing has agreed to publish my very first young adult novel, DEEPER, to be released in the Fall of 2010.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eileen Kernaghan story reprinted in new anthology

Eileen Kernaghan's SF story "Carpe Diem" will be reprinted in a new anthology, The Aurora Awards -- Thirty Years of Canadian Science Fiction,  from the Montreal small press Nanopress .

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nina Munteanu's "Fiction Writer" Gaining Interest in Schools

Nina Munteanu's fiction writing guide The Fiction Writer: Get Published, Write Now! was released by Starfire World Syndicate in 2009 and is eligible for the Canadian Aurora Prix Award. Author of Darwin's Paradox and award-winning blog, The Alien Next Door, Nina teaches a curriculum on “writing to be published” based on The Fiction Writer, which several creative instructors are using in their classes at schools and universities throughout Canada and USA.

Instructors and students of creative writing are enjoying its entertaining and easy-to-read instruction and praise has been very forthcoming:

  • The Fiction Writer is at the top of the required reading list for my Writer’s Workshop students…the quintessential guidebook for the soon-to-be-published.”—Susan H. McLemore, M.Ed., Glynn Academy Language Arts Department

  • “Nina Munteanu's The Fiction Writer is the book I wish I had 15 years ago. Writers young and old can find ways to improve their work, with the book's fun, easy to read format.”— Theresa Vinson, Book Seller, Hattie’s Books

  • “Nina's writing style is engaging, enlightening, and enjoyable. And like the good Doctor's Tardis, the book is larger than it appears - Get Get Published, Write Now! right now.”—David Merchant, English Instructor, Louisiana Tech University

  • “We use this book weekly in my Writer's Workshop class, and it gives us all the right tips to write like a professional author. The chapters are brief and concise, and really help us write both fiction and nonfiction. I would highly recommend this book for anyone hoping to enhance their writing.”—Mark J. Bujold, writing student, Saint Simon’s Island, GA

  • “I felt as though she really wanted me to succeed as a writer, and was a mentor sent to provide guidance and inspiration.”— Zoe M. Hicks, author of The Women’s Estate Planning Guide and Dream Catcher, the Power of Faith

  • “High energy writer and teacher of writing Nina Munteanu is an upbeat coach for new and published writers seeking to refresh their art.”—Lynda Williams, author of Okal Rel Series

  • "I'm very impressed...Nina shares the hard-won knowledge she's accumulated...I'm thoroughly enjoying the book!”—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Wake